Socialist Worker



24 April 2004
WORKERS HAVE reacted with anger to huge multinational Diageo's announcement of the closure of the Guinness brewery in Park Royal in Brent, north west London. The company plans to axe 90 jobs in the 70 year old plant in London, transferring this work to St James's Gate, Ireland. According to one union rep, \"For a number of years management have used the threat of closing either Park Royal or St James's Gate as a way of pushing through cuts and rationalisation in both plants. We gave concession after concession. We were told we had to 'modernise' and we did, but it just meant more work and now they do this. Park Royal was set up by Guinness in the 1930s to avoid paying import tax

HSBC bank in the rush to the bottom

25 October 2003
BANKING giant HSBC has become the latest multinational to announce plans to move jobs overseas. Some 4,000 jobs will be axed from its call centres in Swansea, Birmingham, Brentwood and Sheffield, and transferred to call centres in India, China and Malaysia.

Lib Dems left pretenders

27 September 2003
MANY PEOPLE who voted for the winning Liberal Democrat in the Brent by-election last week were motivated by good reasons. Brent saw traditional Labour voters turn away from Blair in disgust at his government's record on the war, privatisation and public services. Many voted Lib Dem believing this was, on the day, the way to give Blair a bloody nose.

Brent election rally

20 September 2003
EAMONN McCANN made a rousing speech at a rally in support of Socialist Alliance candidate Brian Butterworth on Monday of this week. The rally was held three days before the Brent East parliamentary election which takes place on Thursday of this week. Over 80 people heard from film director Ken Loach, journalist Paul Foot and local people disillusioned with Blair.

Final push for votes in Brent by-election

13 September 2003
THE PARLIAMENTARY by-election in the Brent East constituency in west London takes place on Thursday of next week. Brian Butterworth, a Unison union branch secretary, is the Socialist Alliance candidate. He spoke to Socialist Worker about why he is standing, and why he thinks Brent needs a socialist alternative:

Election campaign

06 September 2003
Brent THE SOCIALIST Alliance created a real buzz in Brent, west London, last weekend. Brian Butterworth is standing as the Socialist Alliance candidate for MP in the Brent East by-election, called for 18 September.

Key post-war test for New Labour

30 August 2003
THE LABOUR Party has called the by-election in Brent East, west London, for 18 September. It will be a key test for New Labour, taking place in the middle of the Hutton inquiry.

Hit the streets for Brent East election

23 August 2003
THE Socialist Alliance has called a national day of action in Brent, north west London, on Sunday 31 August. We are urging activists from across England to come into the constituency on that day to help campaign for our candidate in the forthcoming Brent East by-election.

Is Allan Leighton running the Post Office or The Office?

16 August 2003
Allan Leighton, the chairman of Royal Mail, combines a readiness to spout management theory bollocks with a steely readiness to wage class war. One minute he is like David Brent, the boss played by Ricky Gervais in the TV series The Office. The next minute he is a hard-faced axeman.

Opposite of a Blairite selection meeting

09 August 2003
A LEFT challenge to New Labour was launched at a vibrant convention of the left in the Brent East constituency last week. Over 90 people attended the meeting in west London in the run-up to a by-election in the area. Everyone there was determined to build an alternative to Tony Blair's pro-war, pro-privatisation policies.

A response to John Rees

09 August 2003
IN HIS assessment of the left after the war, John Rees writes, "The Blairites have so marginalised the left that it is difficult to see how the Labour Party can be easily reclaimed. "Even the 175-strong selection meeting for the Brent East by-election, open to all Labour Party members, chose the pro-war, pro-Blair MEP Robert Evans." This ignores two rather inconvenient facts.

Beacon for those who hate Blair

26 July 2003
ASIANS WHO have traditionally voted Labour, already angry about the war on Iraq, privatisation and the demonisation of Islam, are even angrier after being snubbed again. The Labour Party has narrowly selected the Blairite MEP Robert Evans instead of Shahid Malik as their candidate for Brent East. The election may be as early as September.


19 July 2003
Criminalised because there's nothing to do AS A youth worker, every day I see first hand how the policies of Tony Blair and David Blunkett are systematically lowering young people's aspirations and hopes. I work on estates in Brent in west London which have a mainly black and Asian population.

Hundreds flock to hear Galloway

07 June 2003
SOME 240 people packed into Willesden Library, north west London, on Thursday of last week to hear George Galloway and others slam the occupation of Iraq. The meeting, called by Brent Stop the War, drew people who had attended protests during the war and newer forces.

Tom Durkin

18 January 2003
TOM DURKIN-longtime chair of Brent Trades Council, notably at the time of the Grunwick's strike in the 1970s-died just before Christmas at the age of 87. Tom was in every sense a big man, with a booming voice sometimes augmented by his home-made sound systems.

Paths to victory

27 October 2001
HUNDREDS MORE job centre workers in the PCS civil servants' union joined the indefinite strike for safety at work on Monday of this week. Workers at the government's new Pathfinder offices in Streatham and Brent in London have entered the eighth week of their strike against the removal of safety screens at work.

Civil servants in rising mood

01 October 2001
THE STRIKE for safety by hundreds of civil servants in the PCS union in west London is set to turn into a national dispute. The strikers, in Brent and Lambeth in London, entered their fifth week of indefinite strike on Monday of this week.

Civil service

15 September 2001
HUNDREDS OF Benefits Agency and Employment Service civil servants in the PCS union in south west London and Brent in west London are continuing their indefinite strike action. It is against management proposals to remove screens. The strikers all work in the government's new Pathfinder scheme.

Civil service

11 August 2001
THE CIVIL servants' PCS union is balloting over 300 members for all-out strike action in the Brent and Streatham Jobcentre Plus Pathfinder pilots. The mood is excellent, with over 100 members at an evening rally last week headed by general secretary elect Mark Serwotka and Brian Butterworth from Brent UNISON.

'Their profits mean death'

10 March 2001
A global day of action hit multinational drugs giant GlaxoSmithKline on Monday to coincide with the beginning of a court case in South Africa. GSK is just one of the big companies which this week began the court case to try to stop their drugs, or copies of their drugs, being sold cheaply to desperate people in South Africa, many of who are victims of AIDS. Demonstrators protested outside the company's headquarters in Brentford on Monday morning, and around 70 people joined a protest in Manchester on Monday evening.

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